# Poverty

## Recommended Posts

I don't. I ask a question.

Yes, you did. Phrasing the text as a question bears not on the fact that you equate the 'poor' of the statistics with those below the poverty line-especially since the question is in the second sentence.

According to the US Census Bureau almost 75% of those who live below the "poverty line" own a car (31% own 2+), 43% have a 3-bedroom house, 97% own a color TV, 78% have VCR or DVD, 62% have cable or sat TV, 89% have microwave, and over half have a stereo. 89% have "enough to eat", 80% have A/C, only 6% are overcrowded, and avg child dietary consumption is on par with children of middle an upper income parents. Wouldn't it be nice to know if we have any POOR people in this country? (emphasis mine)

How much context is there in a reporter citing the poverty line statistic with no explanation of what that statistic means?

Two wrongs make a right? And what about the use of completely irrelevant(you still have both A/C and child dietary consumption which are representative of the US housing market and the US public school system respectively) statistics out of context to try to bolster your point?

It shouldn't. It should make one wonder why we're being told that we have 43 million poor people in the US, when the numbers say no such thing.

What numbers say that? You've not shown them.

Now, let's try to get some sort of judgement from the numbers you did provide.

According to the Census Bureau:

- 43% of all "poor" households own an average 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath house

- Almost 75% of "poor" households own a car; 31% own 2 or more

- 97% of "poor" households have a color television; over half own 2 or more

- 78% have a VCR or DVD player; 62% have cable or satellite TV

- 89% have a microwave oven; over half have a stereo, more than a third have a dishwasher

- Only 6% of all "poor" households are overcrowded. More than 67% have more than two rooms per person.

- Average child dietary consumption of poor children is on par with children of middle and upper income parents

- 89% of poor families have "enough to eat"; only 2% report "often" not having enough

- 80% of all "poor" households have air conditioning

- The average American "poor" person has greater living space than the average person in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and many other European cities. (The average citizen there, not the average "poor" citizen.)

Now, let's throw out the completely irrelevant ones.

According to the Census Bureau:

- 43% of all "poor" households own an average 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath house

- Almost 75% of "poor" households own a car; 31% own 2 or more

- 97% of "poor" households have a color television; over half own 2 or more

- 78% have a VCR or DVD player; 62% have cable or satellite TV

- 89% have a microwave oven; over half have a stereo

- Only 6% of all "poor" households are overcrowded.

- 89% of poor families have "enough to eat"; only 2% report "often" not having enough

From this we can see that:

• 57% of all "poor" either rent or are homeless.
• >25% of all "poor" own no car at all.
• 97% have a color television(a one time purchase that is often inexpensive)
• 89% have a microwave oven.
• 6% are "overcrowded".
• 11% do not have enough to eat even with government programs.

In America, most people("poor" or not) have no access at all to public transportation, so, unless you happen to live near your place of work, you need some form of transportation. That, some would argue, would make transportation something that is vital. Yet, your statistics show that this 'poor' category is severely lacking such transportation ability. Those that do have this arguably needed transportation are then burdened with the ongoing costs(gasoline, insurance, and maybe even payment for the vehicle itself). No information was given as to whether the vehicles that are owned by this said population group are new, used, owned, leased, in good condition, or completely unreliable. As such, our search for QoL information in this area cannot yield results with a high level of accuracy.

No information is given about the television other than that they are color televisions. We do know that televisions are relatively inexpensive one time purchases, so their impact on the economic impact is limited. It is also known that televisions are available inexpensively at thrift stores, yard sales, and Goodwill. As with the transportation issue above, the lack of information prevents us from making an honest assessment of whatever limited economic impact it may have.

There is no information given about the quality of the rental property(or lack thereof) of the 57% of this demographic which do not own a home. Is it a penthouse, an efficiency owned by a slumlord, or a cardboard box below a freeway overpass? We simply do not know. We are also missing any data about the status of the mortgages of the minority in this demographic that do own their living quarters. As with the transportation issue and the television issue above, we also have no information at all as to whether or not the item in question was obtained prior to becoming part of of said demographic.

Conspicuously missing from the cited statistics is the level of debt of those in this demographic.

Edited by ydoaPs
##### Share on other sites

So you feel that the numbers on the "poverty line" inform us about the number of poor people we have in the US, then? Is that right?

##### Share on other sites

So you feel that the numbers on the "poverty line" inform us about the number of poor people we have in the US, then? Is that right?

I say that equivocation is a logical fallacy. At least the 'poverty line' gives us a standard of measure. IF we define 'poor' as those below the poverty line, then tax records do in fact give us an indication of the number of poor people in the US. However, as you said previously, no such definition is given by your source. As such, your swapping the demographic of those below the defined poverty line with the undefined 'poor' category as the demographic monitored by the statistics is equivocation.

##### Share on other sites

Yes, you did. Phrasing the text as a question bears not on the fact that you equate the 'poor' of the statistics with those below the poverty line-especially since the question is in the second sentence.

Well I can't stop you from reading between the lines of my posts, but I am allowed to ask that question.

I have supported on this forum the need for social spending through safety nets, and the importance of helping those who are down on their luck. I support a compromise system of government. And I resent your ongoing campaign to demonize my opinions before this community.

What numbers say that? You've not shown them.

Yes I have. The statistic indicates the poverty line, not those who are actually poor. The United Nations calls the poverty line $1/day in earnings (source). The United States Census calls the poverty line people who can buy cheeseburgers at McDonald's and face such difficult choices as "Conan" versus "Jay". I've supported this, asking the further question of why we don't know how many truly poor people we have in this country. If you feel an ideological need to equate Playstation owners with the truly needy, more power to you, but I intend to continue pointing out the error in this "logic". ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Well I can't stop you from reading between the lines of my posts, but I am allowed to ask that question. It's not reading between the lines at all. You attributed the numbers of one demographic to a potentially different demographic. That is completely unaffected by whether or not you asked a question afterward. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites I'm responding to that comparison being made by the mass media. Queue reporter standing in front of a homeless shelter, trying to give her story more impact by citing statistics on the number of Americans living below the "poverty line", when in fact many of those in that demographic have no need for such shelters. It is legitimate to expose such comparisons, especially with data from the Census Bureau's own reports. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites I'm responding to that comparison being made by the mass media. Ok, I'll post like FOX then. PANGLOSS AND THOSE EVIL MUSLIMS ARE TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!!!!!! It is legitimate to expose such comparisons, especially with data from the Census Bureau's own reports. Yet, as has been shown to you multiple times by multiple people, you've done no such thing. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Yes, you did. Phrasing the text as a question bears not on the fact that you equate the 'poor' of the statistics with those below the poverty line-especially since the question is in the second sentence. I think Pangloss's point is that income and wealth are not the same thing. Poor is a statement of wealth, and poverty line is a statement of income. Well I can't stop you from reading between the lines of my posts, but I am allowed to ask that question. I have supported on this forum the need for social spending through safety nets, and the importance of helping those who are down on their luck. I support a compromise system of government. And I resent your ongoing campaign to demonize my opinions before this community. How is questioning the application of statistics "demonizing?" Isn't an accusation of demonizing itself an act of demonizing? Yes I have. The statistic indicates the poverty line, not those who are actually poor. The United Nations calls the poverty line$1/day in earnings (source). The United States Census calls the poverty line people who can buy cheeseburgers at McDonald's and face such difficult choices as "Conan" versus "Jay". I've supported this, asking the further question of why we don't know how many truly poor people we have in this country.

If you feel an ideological need to equate Playstation owners with the truly needy, more power to you, but I intend to continue pointing out the error in this "logic".

I think you need to define what you mean by "actually poor."

##### Share on other sites

I think you need to define what you mean by "actually poor."

Indeed. I also actually question whether or not that Pangloss understands the implications of some of the statistics. ydoaPs was right in the value of a car. You're saying that someone who owns a car isn't technically 'poor'? Do you know how frustrating it is for a family of five, with an income of around 30K a year, to have to share one car? I missed out on many academic-team practices and games because the one family car was being used for work. I had no readily available internet (as access to the internet via a public library was limited by the one car) until two years ago, when I started university. But since I had a color CRT-TV with 5 stations that the antenna picked up for free, I wasn't poor? My parents owned a house on a farm, and the debt on that farm is still above 300K, but they weren't poor because they owned a 90 year old house? Even though no one in my family ever had any medical insurance of any kind, and we were rarely able to go to the doctor (checkups were non-existent), we weren't poor because we had a 60$microwave? I think that reasoning is wrong beyond any measure. The statistics are very misleading. Edited by A Tripolation ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Indeed. I also actually question whether or not that Pangloss understands the implications of some of the statistics. ydoaPs was right in the value of a car. You're saying that someone who owns a car isn't technically 'poor'? Do you know how frustrating it is for a family of five, with an income of around 30K a year, to have to share one car? I missed out on many academic-team practices and games because the one family car was being used for work. I had no readily available internet (as access to the internet via a public library was limited by the one car) until two years ago, when I started university. But since I had a color CRT-TV with 5 stations that the antenna picked up for free, I wasn't poor? My parents owned a house on a farm, and the debt on that farm is still above 300K, but they weren't poor because they owned a 90 year old house? Even though no one in my family ever had any medical insurance of any kind, and we were rarely able to go to the doctor (checkups were non-existent), we weren't poor because we had a 60$ microwave?

I think that reasoning is wrong beyond any measure. The statistics are very misleading.

I agree with what you have said and yet... where I come from, a poor person might have a plywood/sheet metal hut 3X3 meters area (the materials probably scavanged not bought, and I doubt they own the land under it), no shoes (not the kids anyways), probably goes hungry, and virtually no medical care (not the sort that would be done in a hospital). There are billions who would be grateful to be as poor as you.

Pangloss, even these people occasionally have a color TV.

##### Share on other sites

I agree with what you have said and yet... where I come from, a poor person might have a plywood/sheet metal hut 3X3 meters area (the materials probably scavanged not bought, and I doubt they own the land under it), no shoes (not the kids anyways), probably goes hungry, and virtually no medical care (not the sort that would be done in a hospital). There are billions who would be grateful to be as poor as you.

Pangloss, even these people occasionally have a color TV.

Of course, even the most poor in America are still better off than the poor in the rest of the world. A fact that I do acknowledge. But like you said, even the poorest of the poor sometimes have that one amenity. Do all poor people really need to look like they've been in a concentration camp and have no material possession in this world to be considered poor? That's ludicrous.

##### Share on other sites

Of course, even the most poor in America are still better off than the poor in the rest of the world.

Indeed.

But like you said, even the poorest of the poor sometimes have that one amenity. Do all poor people really need to look like they've been in a concentration camp and have no material possession in this world to be considered poor? That's ludicrous.

Of course that would be ludicrous. And I've never said anything like that. Just because the homeless and the Playstation Poor are lumped together in the same category doesn't mean there isn't some level of suffering in the US. I support the general concept of social programs, and I've said so many, many times.

What I object to is the use of the Playstation Poor to convince Americans that there are massive numbers of truly needy people in this country, when in fact we have no idea if that's true or not, or what those numbers might be.

And Mr Skeptic, I don't believe that that picture is representative of how the 43 million Americans who are below the "poverty line" live.

##### Share on other sites

And Mr Skeptic, I don't believe that that picture is representative of how the 43 million Americans who are below the "poverty line" live.

Of course not, it's from my home country -- Paraguay. Though you can find similar (and probably worse) elsewhere.

##### Share on other sites

Of course, even the most poor in America are still better off than the poor in the rest of the world. A fact that I do acknowledge.

I think this is somewhat contested here. Better off than the poor in poor/underdeveloped countries, sure. Better than other developed countries? That is what is being discussed here.

##### Share on other sites

I think this is somewhat contested here. Better off than the poor in poor/underdeveloped countries, sure. Better than other developed countries? That is what is being discussed here.

I thought it was compared to the world. If not, then our poor are probably in just as bad a shape as those in other developed countries.

##### Share on other sites

I think this is somewhat contested here. Better off than the poor in poor/underdeveloped countries, sure. Better than other developed countries? That is what is being discussed here.

I seriously doubt that the situations faced by the poor living in the US or any other region all deal with the same problems. Really, what is the point of comparing poverty on a national or regional basis except to bolster the collective ego of people who like to take credit for or blame themselves for how other people treat other people?

## Create an account

Register a new account